Navigating the Kitchen. Together.
How to carry on in the kitchen and find calm among the dish towels.
If your kitchen has started to feel like a choose-your-own adventure book — or an extreme episode of Chopped — you're not alone. In the San Francisco Bay area, we at Yummly find ourselves sheltered in place at home, baking bread for neighbors while playing teacher to our children and juggling conference calls ... and suddenly realizing we need to provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner with what we have on hand.
While we can't control what happens in the world around us, there's much we can do to minimize unnecessary stress, create a sense of order in our new routines, and make the most of the time at home with our loved ones.
To that end, we wanted to share how we're using Yummly tools on a daily basis to help us manage our new in-home responsibilities. We hope these ideas can help you find your rhythm as well — and allow you to find comfort in your daily meals. Here's how we're managing:
1). Find recipes that work for you (and avoid the ones that don't)
Sometimes the hardest step is just deciding what to make for dinner in the first place. We don't mean to brag, but this is what we do best! Here's the first baby step: start by picking your protein (meat, fish, beans) or a specific cooking technique (slow cooker, roasting, stovetop), and then plan your meal from there.
Browse for ideas
Head on over to our browse page for inspiration: we've got curated collections of chicken breast recipes, ground beef recipes, vegetarian recipes, slow cooker recipes, and a whole lot more. App users can check out the Explore tab for collections of recipes by cuisine, course, diet, and family-friendly recipes. Here's a small sampling of what you might find:
Apply filters to hone in on exactly what you want
To quickly find a great recipe, use the search function to look for a particular ingredient or dish, then apply filters to customize the results to your diet, tastes, preferred cooking techniques, and more. Pro tip: be sure to update your Yummly profile with any special diets, allergies, and disliked ingredients, and we'll automatically filter your searches with your preferences applied.
Use Ingredient Recognition to see what you can make today
If you're trying to figure out what to do with the strange bedfellows left hanging out in your cabinet, have some fun using the Ingredient Recognition feature on the Yummly app instead. (And let your kids help — it's a virtual treasure hunt, and they get to eat the prize!). Go to the Search tab in the app and tap the camera icon to scan the ingredients you've got to cook with; we'll provide recipe inspiration based on what you scan.
2). Put a plan in place and stay organized
If you've got a fully stocked fridge, it can be a challenge to use up fresh ingredients before they go bad — or to remember when to take items out of the freezer to defrost. While we're already big proponents of meal planning to ease you through the work week, a written plan is even more helpful when you've got a full pantry that needs to get used up.
Schedule your meals
We've got two ways to keep you on task: Once you've picked the recipes you're going to make, save them to the Yummly meal planner to make sure your groceries don't go to waste. Using the app instead? Tap "Select Eat Time" on any recipe and we'll add it to your calendar so you don't forget. We'll even send you a reminder when it's time to start cooking.
Plan ahead for shopping or order food online
If you're not cooking exclusively from your pantry, the Yummly Shopping List can help keep track of what you need to buy. Start your list on the computer, add to it from your mobile device, and take it with you on your phone. Your list will auto-sort by category so you can get in and out of the grocery store quickly — and if you can't get out to the grocery store, U.S. users in many locations can also place orders for pick up or delivery from a local store from within the Shopping List.
3). Improve your life in the kitchen
If you're looking for silver linings, you might be thinking about your homebound status as an opportunity to try some new things in the kitchen: if it's a food-ucation you want, we can help!
Need a helping hand?
To get started building confidence in the kitchen, we offer an extensive collection of Guided Recipes featuring step-by-step video instructions so you can be sure you're getting everything right. Here are just a few of our favorite easy-to-make Guided Recipes:
If you need reinforcements, these guided recipes are also a great intro to cooking for older kids who you want to recruit to help out with meal preparation.
Level up to Pro
If you're ready to move beyond basics (or want a little entertainment), our subscription service, Yummly Pro, gives you access to expert chef instructors, exclusive recipes, and video instruction formatted for hands-on cooking so you can learn by doing.
Just pick up your phone, tablet, or laptop and bring chefs like Jet Tila, Richard Blais, Gregory Gourdet, Andrew Zimmern, and more into your kitchen. Get started with a free trial* here.
* Subscription required after free trial. Auto-renews at $4.99/month after trial unless you cancel 24 hours before renewal date. See Yummly Pro Subscription Terms for details. Offer subject to change. No cash value.
4). Need help switching gears?
If you're facing new challenges in the kitchen — more meals, fewer trips to the store, kids constantly under foot — check out these articles for more tips and tricks to see you through.
For more inspiration, browse through all our informative articles on the Yummly blog.
How else can we help?
We hope some of these ideas make things a little easier for you at home. Still got questions? Unusual challenges? Email us at [email protected] — we're happy to help!